Lifestyle Tips to Improve Gut Health
In my previous blog post, we discussed what Leaky Gut is, the Triggers, Symptoms and Long Term Effects.
Leaky Gut might sound like a complicated issue, but it doesn’t have to be. And the good news is that it CAN be healed and you CAN get rid of your nagging symptoms and health conditions.
In Functional Medicine we use a systems, evidence-based approach to heal Leaky Gut that is comprehensive and unique to the individual. It goes by the simple acronym of the ‘5Rs’: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair, and Rebalance. When applied to various chronic health issues, the 5R program can lead to dramatic improvement in symptoms, and sometimes even complete resolution!
The first step in my functional medicine analysis to helping those with gut dysfunction is running personalized lab testing.
I utilize the GI Map Test, which is a comprehensive stool analysis that will give us SO much information. This can tell us what part of the gut needs attention; do you have candida, an overgrowth of bad bacteria, an infection or parasite? The more we know, the better equipped I am to help design your plan!
From there we utilize the 5 R approach to Optimal Gut Health:
We must Remove stressors/triggers: get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract including allergic or inflammatory foods, but also imbalances like candida or a parasite.
Most with a gut problem can benefit from using an allergy “elimination diet” to find out what foods are causing GI symptoms or it may involve taking certain supplements or herbs to eradicate a particular bug or infection.
We need to support the entire digestive tract, not just the intestines, which starts in the mouth and includes the stomach, pancreas, gall bladder. Replace using supplements like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion. These can be decreased because of stress or other factors like medications, diseases or diet.
We want to help boost the beneficial bacteria in the microbiome by incorporating a wide variety of plants, probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms found in the gut that are also called the “good GI bacteria” needed for optimal digestion, immune function, brain function and more.
Prebiotics are food ingredients and micronutrients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms already in the colon. In other words, prebiotics feed probiotics.
Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients that can often be in short supply in a compromised gut. These nutrients will vary per person depending on their healing, but could include certain vitamins, minerals and herbs.
It is important to pay attention to our lifestyle triggers and make sure we are reducing STRESS any means we can. It also is important that once we have healed the gut, we can maintain its health and prevent future issues.
Lastly, we want to improve the Gut Brain Connection through engaging the Sympathetic Nervous System!
The Gut and the Brain are literally connected through the Vague Nerve. We refer to it as the “Gut Brain Axis”, where the gut actually sends more messages to the brain than vice versa.
What does this mean? Our gut has the ability to impact our mood and nervous system, and our thoughts have the power to affect our physical being as well. The more we can calm our nervous system, we also “calm down” and reduce stress within our gut.
We can improve our Brain-Gut connection through lifestyle tactics such as:
Deep Belly Breathing
Singing or Humming
Gratitude or Positive Affirmations
Looking to Heal your Gut, get rid of your nagging symptoms, and start feeling how you should, with vitality and energy? Let’s work together!
I work 1:1 with patients to help them regain their health back, reduce their digestive complaints and start living life like they want to. My comprehensive and functional medicine based approach allows for optimal, long term results!